The fiscal year 2003 budget request for the National Cancer Institute is a record $4.72 billion, a $510 million, or 12%, increase over the present appropriation. But this "president's budget," submitted to Congress in February, falls $970 million short of NCI's own "bypass budget" request, which seeks $5.69 billion, a breath-taking increase of $1.48 billion, 35%, over the present appropriation, and a whopping $1.51 billion more than President George W. Bush requested for it last year.

The bypass budget is so-called because, under the National Cancer Act of 1971, NCI's budget request is submitted directly to the president, bypassing reviews by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services. In recent years, Congress has awarded NCI more than the president requested but less than the institute has sought.

At $4.72 billion, the president's budget request for NCI is the largest among all the NIH institutes...

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